Affordable Manufactured Homes Up Their Game
Contemporary features and enhanced energy efficiency boost appealBy Statepoint
Whether you are ready to start a family or are a senior who wants a lower mortgage payment, finding a house you can afford to buy can be challenging. One solution is to look past site-built homes to manufactured homes.
Built in a factory and delivered to home sites, this efficient process translates into lower production costs passed on to the consumer. You can quickly see the difference by comparing costs per square foot. According to 2016 data from the United States Census Bureau, the average cost per square foot for a new manufactured home was $48.42. The average cost per square foot of a site-built new home was $107.18.
Newer manufactured homes come in a range of architectural styles and exterior finishes, with a variety of floor plans and interior features like vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and state-of-the-art kitchens and baths.
They also feature enhanced energy efficiency in an era of rising energy costs, thanks to upgraded insulation and more efficient heating and cooling systems than homes from decades ago. Buyers can also purchase EnergyStar®-labeled manufactured homes to increase long-term energy savings.
Modern manufactured homes are among the safest housing choices today, as homes must adhere to strict federal building standards. All aspects of construction are continually inspected by professionally trained third parties. Homes feature smoke detectors, and limited combustible materials around furnaces, water heaters and kitchen ranges, as well as wind resistance in areas prone to hurricane-force winds.
Sale prices for manufactured homes can vary, as do site-built homes. The U.S. Census Bureau surveys prices by month, and reports that in the South, the cost of a new single manufactured home averaged $44,000 and the cost for a doublewide averaged $85,900 in January 2017. It’s possible to get lower prices than these, however — compare prices online and in person with dealers.
Unfortunately, when many people think of grouped manufactured housing, a run-down trailer park still enters their minds. It’s important to know there are many well-run manufactured housing communities that are a far cry from that stereotype, offering welcome amenities such as fitness centers and children’s play areas. Other benefits at these communities may include:
- The option to rent an existing home or place your own home there.
- Services, which often include professional property management, care and maintenance of common grounds, as well as trash removal, storage and laundry facilities.
- Control over home and yard improvements.
- Social or activity clubs, scheduled events and recreation amenities.
“The need for quality, affordable housing has never been greater. However, today’s manufactured homes are high-quality and cost up to 50 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes,” says Richard Jennison, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute. “These savings are allowing more Americans to own a home in the face of an ever-widening housing affordability gap.”
More home-buying tips
The North Carolina Department of Justice provides helpful information for buying a manufactured home.
More home help